Austal USA, Mobile, Ala., recently completed the purchase of waterfront land, buildings, and an existing drydock along the Mobile River previously owned by World Marine of Alabama, a subsidiary of Modern American Recycling and Repair Services of Alabama (MARRS).
The purchase boosts the company’s new construction and service business lines.
“As we’ve consistently done over the course of our history, we’re adding capability to meet the growing demand from our customers” Austal USA president Craig Perciavalle said in a prepared statement. “Our business remains focused on continuing to manufacture highly capable and cost-effective ships while providing world-class global services and support to our customers.”
The purchase includes the 20,000-ton Pete B Panamax-class floating drydock, 100,000 sq. ft. of covered repair facilities, and 15 acres of waterfront property along the Mobile River and Gulf of Mexico. The move places Austal USA adjacent to MARRS and enables better collaboration with the company on its core recycling efforts.
The property is where the old Signal Shipyard (Signal International) was located. Signal purchased Bender Shipbuilding & Repair’s Mobile assets out of bankruptcy court for $31.25 million. In late 2002, another bankruptcy court approved the sale of Friede Goldman’s Offshore Division to ACON Investments, a Washington, D.C.-based private investment firm, for $18 million cash and the assumption of $49 million in debt. ACON formed Signal to operate Friede Goldman’s Texas and Mississippi fabrication yards.
Austal’s acquisition of the property further increases the shipyard’s growing steel and aluminum business portfolio that includes U.S. Navy multiship contracts for the Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) and the expeditionary fast transport (EPF), research and development on unmanned and autonomous surface vessels, and an expanding global services business in San Diego and Singapore.
Austal USA has delivered 22 new construction ships since 2012 including 11 EPFs and 11 trimaran LCSes. Multiple EPF and LCS have deployed around the world with Austal USA providing support to those deployments wherever and whenever needed.